2017 was a rough year for The Faceless, with the band going through a number of tour cancellations and an ensuing social media backlash from fans and press.
It almost outshines the growth the band had with the introduction of Abigail William’s Ken Sorceron as the group’s new vocalist and the release of their latest album ‘In Becoming A Ghos’t.
There was some skepticism online whether the show would happen or not after the announcement of the show, but those who made the trip up were rewarded for their trust with a strong line up filled with both local and international support acts, and of course, The Faceless.
Zhora, from Tipperary opened the show, drenching the stage in their strange musical blend of Sludge metal and Prog.
Through their droning jams, 3 vocalists, and effect pedals, Zhora create a unique narrative through their music, which feels like the band is inviting the audience into their world, instead of just playing songs for the crowd, with vocalist Colin taking on the role the narrator very seriously, losing himself in the role he is presenting to the crowd.
Dublin’s answer to the new wave of American metal, Aesect, are next to play.
Immediately they grab attention with a domineering frontman and a tight band with songs with interesting, and surprisingly melodic twists and turns. They have a good tight set prepared with plenty of heavy riffs which would please any Lamb of God fans in the audience tonight, but they leave enough space to fill in the songs with a good groove which gives each song its own flavour.
The final support band of the night, Osiah, offer a brutal take on Deathcore, with guitars tuned down nearly a full octave, and a demented looking vocalist using demonic low growls and mad pig squeals.
Their set was presented with insane levels of tightness, as even their super slowed down breakdowns showed no signs of sloppiness.
What let the band down was their songs lacked stand out moments and started to sound repetitive.
Their onstage production was also a bit overdone, with an ego riser spanning the entire front of the stage (how else could the audience see the band’s calves during their crabcore squatting?), and a kick drum with a MIDI triggered light inside it (Why be just tight, when you can be bright and tight?).
Perhaps this is a band which has put more thought into their onstage presentation than their music?
Finally The Faceless take to the stage.
They bring a more melodic and diverse take on the technical death metal genre, finding the right balance between tight, technical guitar riffs and making a solid song with great vocals in front of it and hooks to keep it stuck in your head.
It takes a few songs for the band to seem comfortable onstage, they seem preoccupied by the technical issues that dog the show on and off.
Thankfully for a good portion of the show they shake off any nerves and become quite comfortable to their embracing crowd. You can see how much their vocalist and 2nd guitarist are enjoying this show.
Both vocalists trade off well against each other, with mastermind Michael handling clean vocals and newcomer Ken handing the screamed vocals. The set was surprisingly short at roughly 45 minutes and only featured one song from their new album, concentrating mainly ‘Autotheism’ with cuts from their first two albums. Which is strange given how well their new album was recieved.
But the crowd didn’t seem to mind, singing along to their strange circus singalong in their ‘Autotheist/ trilogy, and the band even finished their set with the crowd requested ‘Xenochrist’ (However the Rush requests were left unfufilled).
– Cormac Jordan ::: 11/02/18